The Erie County Industrial Development Agency has authorized spending $2.7 million to buy former Bethlehem Steel property for a “net-zero” energy manufacturing building.
The agency, in a new 2017 budget approved Wednesday, allocated funds to purchase 12.5 acres of property at the northeast corner of the Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna, near the intersection of Ridge Road and Route 5, and for designing the new net-zero building. The agency board previously voted to allocate $1.5 million toward the initial phases of the $25 million project, which is slated to begin construction by March 2017.
The goal of the previously announced venture is to construct a 101,100-square-foot cutting-edge building that could be leased to a mix of tenants for whom energy conservation is a goal, while also revitalizing a polluted brownfield. According to ECIDA documents, the new building would include 76,280 square feet of leasable space, with 50,840 for light manufacturing, 25,400 square feet for office, and 5,475 square feet for shared and support space. Potential tenants include food-processing, distribution and high-tech fabrication firms.